Business interested in the City

Katowice’s investment potential was the theme of the “It is worth to invest in” conference which took place in Katowice on 12th of May 2010. Prospective investors interested in new projects, representatives of companies already investing in Katowice, authorities, experts, IBM managers and journalists participated in the meeting organized by the Katowice City Hall and the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland.

Several speakers pointed out successful commercial investments and investment potential of Katowice.

“After a short period of recession the commercial real estate market in Katowice is experiencing a phase of growth again. New office buildings, hotels and retail spaces are being built. Neinver’s investment in the redevelopment of the Railway Station and building a shopping gallery and an office building in the new complex, Immofinanz’s plans for the extension of Silesia City Center, Ghelamco, GTC and Reinhold’s office investments as well as new hotels – angelo Katowice and Best Western – show that investors positively perceive the absorption capacity of the Katowice agglomeration and its development perspectives. Rising interest of prospective tenants in Katowice is also slowly becoming noticeable. If it translates into transactions it may positively influence the engagement of other property developers in office projects in Katowice” – says Tomasz Buras, Director of Office Spaces Department at King Sturge.

The international consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers, which supports their clients also in investment location, has chosen Katowice as the place for their own investment.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is increasing its engagement in Poland by opening its Shared Service Centre in Katowice, employing 250 people. The center will support the activities of PwC in auditing, providing services for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. We have chosen Katowice because we highly value the potential of the local labour market and the quality of human capital. We also notice that the city cares about new investments” – says Adam Żołnowski, Deputy Head of Business Consulting Department at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“The choice of Katowice for the seat of a shared service center of such a reputable consulting company is the best evidence of the increasing potential of the city and a signal for prospective investors that it is worth to open outsourcing centers here” – says Mateusz Skowroński, Katowice Mayor’s Plenipotentiary for Contacts with Strategic Investors.

The City Hall will also try to attract prospective investors during trade fairs in New York and Munich this year.

“We really care about investments from the SSC/BPO/ITO/R&D sectors so together with the Trade and Investment Section of the Polish Consulate General in New York, Katowice Special Economic Zone and Silesian University of Technology we will take part in the Global Sourcing Forum Conference and Global Showcase. In October we will participate in the International Commercial Property Exposition Expo Real in Munich” – Mateusz Skowroński adds in a press statement.

“Silesia is one of the most dynamically developing regions in Europe. The Silesian region generates 13% of the Polish GDP. Relatively low labour costs combined with high professional skills and high technical culture made the companies in the Katowice Special Economic Zone invest above EUR 4 billion and employ 41 000 persons. I try to attract to the Zone investors not only from the automotive sector but also service centers. Together with the City Hall of Katowice, we will participate in the October outsourcing forum in New York” – says Piotr Wojaczek, President of the Katowice Special Economic Zone.

Additionally, Windham Loopesko from W.E. Loopesko & Associates, INC. has announced an economic mission from Colorado to Katowice which will take place between 12th to 18th of September 2010.

At the conference, Marcin Nowak, Capgemini Eastern Europe DDS Center Manager, presented a company’s investment in Katowice. The two Capgemini’s offices located in the Altus and Atrium buildings service customers in the area of ITO and BPO and employ 1 132 people at the moment. Moreover, further expansion of the Katowice offices is planned.